HC Deb 16 May 1867 vol 187 cc621-2

said, he wished to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to a letter in The Daily News of May 13th, signed by a Government officer who was selected from Oxford University by his predecessor the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, as a Professor of Queen's College, Galway, in which he states—

"That he is not prepared to acknowledge that their (the Fenians) ends were altogether wicked and foolish; that the apparently rabid hatred of the Fenian to the typical landowner is not only just but is absolutely involuntary. That if any people at all should at present be hanged for the good of the nation, and he holds that no hanging is requisite at all, the only hanging that public opinion of Europe and America would endorse would be that of some twenty landlords and some six Irish Members of Parliament, including amongst the latter at least one lawyer.


Greek Professor, Queen's College, Galway:"

and, whether Her Majesty's Government intend, in the event of the above quoted letter being genuine, to retain the services of this Professor?


Sir, a communication has been made to the President of Queen's College, Galway, with reference to that letter. To that communication no reply has yet been received.


The hon. and gallant Member, I do not know why, has introduced my name into the Notice, seeming to impute some blame to the Government of that day. I merely wish to state that Mr. Darcy Wentworth Thompson was appointed with the sanction of the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of the University, solely on account of his proficiency in Greek Scholarship; and that, of course, we made no inquiry as to his politics. I beg to say, in addition, that some hon. Members' opinion on the land question has so greatly changed in so short a time that I do not altogether wonder at some of Mr. Thompson's expressions.


said, the noble Lord had not stated what the Government would do in the event of the letter being genuine.


repeated that no answer had yet been received to the inquiries made. That was the only reply he could give.